Mod Ref Offers Minimalist, Timeless Apparel at The Lab in Costa Mesa

The brand opened its first O.C. location at The Lab in June 2022.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Some stores aim to get attention with large window displays and loud colors. Mod Ref takes a different approach. Owner Andrew Kim’s goal is to offer minimalist, timeless apparel that can be worn year-round, which is reflected in the aesthetic of the boutique. Racks of clothes line two walls and are organized by colors including white, black, brown, and other neutrals. “I’m very influenced by earth tones,” Kim says. “We always design our stores with colors and materials in mind.” Customers can shop jackets, trousers, dresses, and more. The most popular items include blazers, basic T-shirts, and the Millie—a cropped tank top.

Having grown up near O.C., Kim spent a lot of his time at The Lab and hoped to open his second location there, the first being in L.A. “I think that O.C. has a similar type of community and energy to us,” Kim says. In addition to clothing, customers will find skincare from Malin+Goetz and candles by Sach Goods showcased on a large, plastered display piece at the back of the store. Return used Sach Goods candle jars to Mod Ref—any remaining wax will be repurposed, and the jar will be reused. Customers will also receive a free canvas tote bag with their purchase. Stay up to date on future pop-ups and events by following @modrefclothing on Instagram.

Mod Ref
2930 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa